The second Open Forum yesterday discussed a broad range of issues affecting the Diocese of Gaylord. After a rosary and introductions, the Forum touched on a variety of topics. Some of them include the following:
- The continued suspension of Father Matthew Cowan: Participants were insistent that his ongoing restrictions from ministry not be forgotten. Gaylord Diocesan Watch continues to be watching this issue very closely. We reiterated our continued prayers for him and his family and that his situation be resolved in a manner that allows him to resume his vocation.
- Priest shortages/treatment of priests: The issue of priest shortages was brought up. An interesting point was made that perhaps there is no priest shortage. If statistics are correct with regard to how many people regularly go to church and receive the sacraments, there may be more priests and parishes per active Catholic than many would recognize. This could lead to discussion as to how many priests and parishes are really necessary to minister to those who are Catholic in theory and practice.
- Discussion was also revealing with regard to our outreach. Since our efforts on social media started this month, thousands of people have accessed our website.
- Recent changes in Catholic radio programming were discussed.
- Importance of lay apostolates such as Gaylord Diocesan Watch: It was once again emphasized that Gaylord Diocesan Watch is utilized by many faithful Catholics in the Diocese of Gaylord as a source of information. The leadership of Gaylord Diocesan Watch reiterated their sincere desire to speak the truth and reach out to the Bishop, Diocesan leadership, and clergy of the Diocese in an transparent and accountable way to assist the Diocese in its mission.
- It was noted that the Diocese of Gaylord did not respond in any way to our invitation to attend. The Diocese continues to refuse to meet with us or even respond to our requests for dialog.